Gratitude in Action: Navigating Memorial Day with Respect and Safety

Honor our nation’s veterans with Thomas J. Henry Law! Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day’s origins go back to as early as the civil war. However, it did not become an official federal holiday until 1971. According to, Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. This year, the day falls on Monday, May 27. Americans observe Memorial Day honoring those who have lost their lives serving our country by visiting graves or memorials, holding family gatherings, or taking part in festivals and parades. 

The History of Memorial Day

The civil war was a dark time for the country. When the war ended in 1865, it had become the most devastating conflict in the history of the nation. It claimed more lives than any other war in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. By the late 1860s, Americans across the country showed their respects to fallen soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers in their honor. Though it is not certain where exactly the holiday first started, some records have shown that some of the earliest Memorial Day commemorations were held in South Carolina by a group of formerly enslaved people, taking place only a few months after the confederacy surrendered. Though, in 1966, Waterloo, New York was declared the official birthplace of Memorial Day. The first ever Memorial Day was held on May 30th, 1868 at the Arlington National Cemetery, where General James Garfield held a speech and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Civil War soldiers buried there. Today, people take the time to pay their respects to all of the fallen men and women and spend time with their loved ones. states, “On a less somber note, many people take weekend trips or throw parties and barbecues on the holiday, perhaps because Memorial Day weekend—the long weekend comprising the Saturday and Sunday before Memorial Day and Memorial Day itself—unofficially marks the beginning of summer.”

Prioritizing Personal Safety

While participating in Memorial Day festivities, remember to keep you and your loved ones safe. Here are some essential tips to ensure a safe and fun time. 

  • Hydration and Sun Protection: Stay hydrated and shield yourself from the Texas sun. Carry a refillable water bottle and apply high SPF sunscreen. Consider wearing a hat and seeking shade when necessary.
  • Managing Crowds and Personal Space: As large crowds assemble, stay alert and maintain your personal space. Establish a meeting point with your group in case you get separated.
  • Identifying Safety Hazards: Be vigilant of potential safety hazards, such as uneven terrain or tripping hazards. Report any unsafe conditions to festival staff or security immediately. Also, avoid carrying large amounts of cash and keep an eye on your personal belongings.

Alcohol and Substance Safety

It’s crucial to prioritize safety, especially with alcohol and substance consumption. Don’t get carried away at your Memorial Day cookouts. 

  • Responsible Alcohol Consumption: If you choose to drink, do so responsibly, stay hydrated, and know your limits. Arrange for a designated driver or use rideshare services or public transportation.
  • Understanding Public Intoxication Laws: Public intoxication can lead to legal troubles. Be aware of the laws and avoid excessive drinking in public.
  • Recognizing Substance Abuse: If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, seek professional help. Support groups and treatment centers are available to assist.

Securing Your Belongings

It is also important to protect your personal belongings at festivals and big parades.

  • Keep your belongings close and use a cross-body bag or backpack with secure zippers.
  • Stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity to festival security.
  • Use locker services for valuable items or leave them at your accommodation.

Transportation and Parking

For a seamless and safe Memorial Day experience, plan your transportation and parking in advance.

  • Parking: Arrive early to secure a parking spot near the festival grounds. Check the official Fiesta San Antonio website for designated parking areas.
  • Public Transportation and Rideshares: Use public transportation or rideshare services for a convenient and eco-friendly commute.
  • Safe and Responsible Driving: Follow traffic rules and regulations, keep an eye out for pedestrians, and if you plan to consume alcohol, designate a sober driver or use alternative transportation options.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has hurt or injured due to someone else’s negligence do not wait to reach out to us. At Thomas J. Henry Law, our team of experienced personal injury attorneys has successfully represented countless individuals over the past 30 years. We are committed to helping you understand your legal options and providing you with the guidance and representation you need during this challenging time. With a team of more than 200 experienced attorneys and 350 supporting staff members in offices across San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Austin, Dallas Fort-Worth, and Houston, clients can rest assured that there is always someone working on their claim. Contact us to help you get the relief you need. Your safety and well-being are our top priorities.

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